2014 Apr 13 Board Meeting

FEDERATION OF NOVA SCOTIA NATURALISTS
MINUTES OF THE APRIL 13, 2014 MEETING
Present: Bob Bancroft (BB–President), Larry Bogan (LB–Past-President), Jean Gibson (JG-Treasurer),
(Patrick Kelly (PK–Secretary), Doug Linzey (DL–Blomidon Naturalist Society), Burkhard
Plache (BP–Halifax Field Naturalists), Jim Wolford (JW–Members-at-large).
Regrets: Joan Czapalay (JC–Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society(alternate)), Robin Musselman (RM–VicePresident), Helene Van Doninck (HVD–Nova Scotia Bird Society)
Vistors: Jim O’Brien
The meeting convened at 10h10 at the K.C. Irving Centre, Acadia University, Wolfville.
1) Approval of the Agenda
MOTION: Moved by PK/JW that the agenda be approved with the addition of the following
item: 3 d) Habitat Conservation Fund (JW) and 6 a) Hydraulic Fracking (BB). .. Motion CARRIED.
2) Approval of the Minutes of the January 12, 2014 Meeting
MOTION: Moved by JG/LB that the minutes of the January 12, 2014 meeting be approved with
the following corrections: In the list of those present “Blomidon Field Naturalists” should be
“Blomidon Naturalists Society”; Item 3b “martins” should be “martens”, “Vanrooyen” should be
“van Rooyen”; Item 4f Change “a ton” to “a metric ton (with about 2 cords per metric ton)”; Item
4h Change “Jul.” to “Jul[y]. ......................................................................................... Motion CARRIED.
3) Business Arising from the Minutes of the January 12, 2014 Meeting
a) AGM 2014 Update (Bob Bancroft, Jean Gibson)
Bethsheba Kent has recently had ear surgery which may limit her ability to lead a
birding trip. There is a limit of 10 children per trip for the Bird Islands boat trip. There
was some discussion on the number of people expected and the minima and maxima of
the two boat operators. RM had circulated on update on the YNC’s planning for the
AGM as part of her report (see Item 5f).
There was some discussion on the main speakers. Given past problems with trying to
“halt” the social aspect of the banquet, there will not be a banquet speaker this year. That
will allow the socializing to continue and a move to a different area of the building to
allow the staff to clear the tables. It might be nice to run a video at this time. JG circulated
a menu showing the choices available for some of the meals. The question of a display
area for groups was raised. If any groups wanted space, they should contact JG.
b) Korean Reforestation Update (Bob Bancroft)
JG had checked with the Charities Directorate at the Canada Revenue Agency and
we can only give funds to a charity that is registered in Canada, or one outside the
country which has already received the approval of the Charities Directorate.
c) Young Naturalists Award
JG noted that the BNS would likely be giving its annual youth award to Kathryn and
Nathan Gray who recently each discovered a supernova. It was felt that it might be
simpler to make a donation of $100 directly to the YNC and let them select a winner as
they would be in a much better position to know who would be deserving of the award.
d) Habitat Conservation Fund (JW)
JW reported that there were 24 proposals this year. He met with the other five
members of the selection committee and they were all very well prepared. They were
able to provide some level of funding to most of the proposals. An official announcement
of the funding will be made in the near future.
4) Reports
a) Financial (JG)
JG circulated copies of her financial report. She noted that the column heading “2013
AGM” should be “2014 AGM” and “2012 AGM” should be “2013 AGM”. As revenue and
costs for AGMs tend to span more than one fiscal year, she had prepared a separate table
Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists—Minutes of the April 13, 2014 Meeting—Page 1
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at the bottom of the second page to consolidate the AGM numbers. Information about the
2014 AGM was only sent to people whose membership had lapsed for one year instead of
two years. Last year, none of the 40 members who were lapsed for two years attended.
We did not get a payment last year from the Chignecto group. She contacted them
last year but there has been no reply to date.
She is still trying to find the source of the discrepancy between the actual bank
balance and predicted bank balance. She hopes to find the source with the auditor’s help.
MOTION: Moved by JG/DL that the financial report be approved. ................... Motion CARRIED.
b) Nature Canada (JC)
JC had circulated a report by e-mail several days ago. BB noted that they are looking
for a replacement for Ian Davidson. LB noted that the Canadian Wildlife Federation
seems to be a lot more active in many areas compared to Nature Canada. It may be more
important that these things get done, regardless of who does them.
c) NNS Web Site (LB)
The AGM information is now on-line. H is thinking of making changes to the big
trees section.
d) On-line Business (PK)
There was none.
e) Correspondence (PK)
PK reported that as the museum now has the society mailboxes at the front desk so
one does not have to wait until 4:00 PM when the security guard arrives.
f) Forest Issues (BB)
There has been a recent development in New Brunswick that will allow Irving to cut
in conservation areas. He noted that in Afghanistan there has to be an accounting of the
revenue generated by companies that use public resources which is well above what
seems to be the case in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. There is also a total lack of
documentation. A 100-page report was required for commercial foresters to take about
20,000 metric tons of wood while New Page got access to more than 100,000 metric tons
with no questions asked. He will be giving a talk on this issue in New Brunswick in July.
DL noted that in New Brunswick 70% of the forests are publicly owned while in
Nova Scotia 70% are privately owned. The same situation regarding cutting on public
lands exists in the Yukon.
g) Coastal Policy
No report.
h) Important Bird Areas
Sue Abbott had circulated the following report before the meeting. She also reported
that they had received funding for another year.
NS Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program Update for Nature NS April 2014
Prepared by Sue Abbott, NS Program Coordinator, Bird Studies Canada
Program Overview
Part of a national Important Bird Areas (IBAs) program, which aims to identify, monitor and conserve IBAs
in Canada through these objectives:
1. Provide good science
2. Develop strong partnerships.
3. Conserve IBAs on the ground
4. Enable a network of IBA Caretakers (individuals or group who act as “eyes, ears and hands” on the ground
at IBAs, assisting with monitoring, conservation, outreach and advocacy
5. Safeguard migratory flyways
NS IBA Program has been coordinated in NS by Bird Studies Canada since 2009 and, to date, has focused
primarily on objectives 2, 3 and 4.
Update for January - March 2014
• Submitted letter during second comment period to NS Environment regarding proposed Goldboro LNG
Project. Letter outlined proximity of Country Island Complex IBA and threats to endangered Roseate
Terns (and other terns) and Leach’s Storm-Petrels from night lights and development activities. Project
Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists—Minutes of the April 13, 2014 Meeting—Page 2
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was subsequently approved. Canadian Wildlife Service manages the colony on Country Island and is
the official Caretaker, so I’ll keep in touch with their staff about the state of the IBA.
• Assisted Nature Canada complete a survey of IBA Caretakers across Canada, including 10 in NS.
• Initiated planning with Nature Conservancy of Canada and NS Bird Society (Dave Currie) for possible
volunteer event at Brier Island IBA for weekend 6-7 Sep 2014. I Also hope to engage BNS in the event
if there’s interest. Weekend will include a hands-on habitat enhancement activity at NCC property, fall
migration bird monitoring activities, possible visit to banding station (if timing allows and Lance
approves) and possible pelagic trip.
• NS Habitat Conservation Fund approved $7.5k for 2013-2014 to support habitat enhancement activities at
IBAs (see site list below), including removal invasive species and hazards to wildlife (e.g.,
monofilament, predator perches) and reducing disturbances to breeding birds. Ideas welcome
(contact me at sabbott@birdscanada.org)!
What’s Next?
• Work with partners to identify opportunities and plan habitat enhancement activities at IBAs. We’ll focus
on the following IBA sites (note that existing conservation partners working in IBA identified in
brackets):
5) Club Reports (New Material or Updates)
a) Blomidon Naturalists Society (DL)
The BNS board had a regular meeting on February 20, 2014.
BNS bursary: No suitable candidates were selected for the bursary. Further
discussions with Acadia are planned to ascertain that the bursary be communicated more
widely at Acadia to increase the number of applicants.
BNS 40th anniversary: The celebration will be a family picnic at the Kentville
Research Station on August 9.
Finance, membership, Green Dragon program: The current balance of the BNS bank
account is $12,600, and there is $72,900 in the endowment fund. Members have been slow
to submit dues, but we expect to have 165 members.
The Green Dragon program will not be run in 2014 in its current format, mainly due
to finances and recruiting suitable leaders. Plans are to contact the Young Naturalists
Club in the Valley and have a representative attend the next BNS board meeting to
determine if BNS can achieve its objectives by supporting the Young Naturalists.
Twitter account: @BNS1974 currently has 60 followers.
b) Cape Breton Naturalists Society (MC-M)
No report
c) Halifax Field Naturalists (BP)
Burkhard had circulated the following report before the meeting.
HFN had its AGM in March, and re-elected the previous executive board. Its finances are solid,
membership is stable at around 110, and attendance to the monthly meetings is typically 30-40 people.
Participation at walks fluctuates between below 10 and up to 50; of those joining the walks, 45% are not
members. A new initiative was a Book Club, where members read and discuss nature related books; the book
club will continue in 2014.
HFN also joined the Backlands Coalition, where 10 local societies will collaborate to preserve as much as
possible of a stretch of land in the Purcell’s Cove - Herring Cove area.
d) Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society (HD)
JG reported that HD had changed her e-mail address and we were not notified so she
was no longer getting information about meeting, etc.
e) Nova Scotia Bird Society (HVD)
PK reported that the society had a booth again this year at the Outdoor Sports and
RV Show and that it generated a lot of interest from the public. The renewal notices now
have the option for members to opt out of receiving printed versions of Nova Scotia Birds,
as all members now have access to the full-colour electronic version.
f) Young Naturalists Clubs (RM)
RM had circulated the following report before the meeting.
Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists—Minutes of the April 13, 2014 Meeting—Page 3
Pomquet Beach (la SASC) Brier Island (NCC) E. Cape Sable Island (BSC) Musquodoboit (NCC)
Country Island (CWS) Minas Basin (BNS) Baccaro-Roseway (BSC) Glace Bay (ACAP-CB)
Bon Portage (NSNT) Cobequid Port Joli (NCC/NSNT)
The Brothers (Ted d’Eon) Chignecto East Queens (BSC)
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Sadly I have come down with a cold and don’t think I will be up to the meeting tomorrow.....so a quick
update from me and YNC.
I don’t have much more done on the youth scholarships....so will have to dig more into that.
I have a lot of the youth agenda for the NNS AGM coming together: we will also have Deanne and Erich
talk about rocks and coyotes to the youth, plus we have Marie McDonald doing an ethnobotany walk and plant
dying workshop. We are trying to secure Sean Neary from the Margaree fish hatchery to come and bring some
native fish and talk about them then do a fishing workshop with the youth. We are also trying to get a local
storyteller to come in the evening on Sat. A few other holes to be filled maybe by ACAP or some other things…
We sent our our revised registration form the other day (thanks Doug for that) so hopefully we will have
people signing up soon
As far as YNC stuff we also have been funded by HCF again (thanks Jim!) for 10 hrs a week for a
coordinator - so we still need to make up some shortfall...we still are struggling to find other options for
funding although we do have a fairly loyal donator from Canada Helps (several thousand dollars so far)
We are gearing up to do the Bluenose Charity Challenge and have 10 runners on our team so far. We
also have an article written featuring us in Our children magazine in the May issue - so more exposure! I
will forward it to you if I get an electronic copy of it.
I am working with Cineplex and makers of Flight of the Butterflies to get it to come to Halifax and show
at the Bayers Lake 3D cinema in June or July. You should check out the trailer - it looks great http://
www.flightofthebutterflies.com/home/ I was trying to get it is a fundraiser but it is just to expensive on the
up front end of things
Hope that helps keep you informed about what we are up to.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Gaelic College in May.
ps - Oh yes - we have a new Chapter in Economy called the Cobequid YNC (can’t remember if they were
up and running last time we met) and the South Shore YNC is dormant once again.
6) New Business
a) Atlantic Whitefish
A report was expected on the state of the Atlantic whitefish, but with recent
developments that may not happen.
b) Elections at the 2014 AGM (BB)
The term of the Secretary and Vice-President both end at this years AGM. PK is
willing to serve another term as Secretary. LB will circulate a request for nominations.
c) Hydraulic Fracking (BB)
BB reported that he had been invited to join the provincial committee, chaired by
David Wheeler, that was reviewing this topic but declined. The committee will be
accepting submissions until the end of April. JG noted that there was an excellent article
on this subject from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. BB noted that as the
chemical mix used in the process is not public (due to trade secrets) he feels that this
method of gas extraction can be summed up as proprietary chemicals being forced into
rock strata for which the geology is essentially unknown.
There was a discussion on the links between industry, government, and the
universities. There is a common perception that people see short-term gains without
understanding long-term implications. We should collect information and share it online
and develop a policy on hydraulic fracking.
d) Change of Year End (LB)
As we are required to have our AGM within three months from the end of our fiscal
year (currently March 31) it was decided there was no better time to have the AGM other
than the months from April to June, so there was no point changing the fiscal year.
e) Skype (LB)
For board members that cannot attend in person, it might be helpful to see if they can
use Skype to participate in the meetings. PK will check to see if the guest internet access
at Acadia will work with Skype. If so, we can try it at the September meeting.
7) News and Announcements
There were none.
8) Time and Location of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM at the K. C. Irving
Centre, Acadia University, Wolfville.
The meeting adjourned at 14h00 on a motion by PK.
Patrick Kelly
Secretary